Preparing for the birth of baby brings about a lot of anticipation and excitement. The excitement of bringing a new life into the world, the excitement of seeing your child for the first time, the excitement of the first hug with your child, the excitement of becoming parents, and the anticipation of how everything is going to work out from pregnancy through childhood. As parents, we don’t want to often focus on if anything is going to go wrong throughout pregnancy and delivery because it’s so important to remain healthy, positive, and to enjoy the experience. However, sometimes complications can occur, babies need to spend time in the NICU and plans don’t work out exactly how we had pictured in our minds. It’s in those critical and challenging times that having a dedicated and strong support system is vital to the well-being of baby and parents.
For many families, NICU nurses are the lifeline for those first days of life that require extra medical care and attention. It is NICU nurses that are the extension of parents, especially when parents cannot be with baby around the clock. Besides medical expertise, they provide hugs (for baby and parents), special and real-time support, when reassurances are needed.
Fellow twin mom and fellow MOPS leadership team member, Coral Broadwater, understands first-hand how important NICU nurses can be to parents in their time of need. This is her story….
“From the first ultrasound, my pregnancy was categorized as a high-risk pregnancy. During my first appointment at 8 weeks, I was told I was having identical triplets! This was my first pregnancy and I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing…3 babies!? After that ultrasound, everything the doctor told me sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher because I was in a complete state of shock.
I was considered a rare pregnancy as I used no form of hormone therapy or IVF. We conceived naturally. My pregnancy was extremely difficult. I was diagnosed with very rare conditions like TTTS (Twin-To-Twin Transfusion Syndrome), Cholestasis of Pregnancy (which only 1 in 1,000 pregnant women get), Gestational Diabetes and the list goes on. It seemed at every appointment I went to, I was given bad news, and I seemed to always prepare myself for it. However, nothing prepared me for the day that I lost baby Zachary Ryan (Baby C). TTTS had taken one of my babies far too soon and it’s something to this day I still struggle with. Although I did lose a baby to TTTS, the surgery at 17 weeks saved my other two babies.
Fast forward to 35 weeks…thankfully, my other babies were growing great, no adverse effects from TTTS and my date for my scheduled C-section was quickly approaching. At 36 weeks exactly, I was taken to the hospital to deliver my babies, including little Zachary.
Aaron was out first, and he gulped a big bit of amniotic fluid. The medical team suctioned and suctioned, but I still didn’t hear a cry. Dylan was out next 2 minutes later. I heard him screaming and hoped it was Aaron. They wrapped Dylan up and handed him to me. It is so amazing how you can feel an instant bond and love for someone you literally just met 1 second ago.
But I still hadn’t seen Aaron. I got Dylan settled and asked my husband how Aaron is doing. We found out he was breathing but that he needed to go to the NICU for observation. The staff finally wrapped Aaron up and brought him to me. At last, I was holding my babies! They let me hold Aaron for only a few seconds and whisked him off to the NICU. Dylan was great. He was 3 pounds 14 ounces and was going to NICU as a feeder and grower.
Given my complicated pregnancy, I had always thought in the back of my mind that my babies would end up in the NICU, but to know your babies are there is a little scary…especially for a first-time mom! The first couple of days I lived in the NICU (since I was still a patient at the hospital myself). I became very acquainted with the friendly and helpful day nurses, but nights were SO hard. I had no clue what it would feel like to leave my babies —now my world —in the hands of strangers. I had no clue what it would feel like to watch and let strangers take care of my babies. It’s really a gut-wrenching time for parents, especially moms. It is a motherly instinct to nurture and care for babies and when you are unable to do so, it has devastating effect on your spirit and mind.
On my last day as an admitted patient, I knew I would have to leave my babies. I felt like making false ailments just so I could stay admitted. Then, my angel walks in! Nurse Kelly Gee! She had the best and most upbeat personality. She was also a twin mom and a twin grandma, so it felt like she was a nurse made for our family. I immediately fell in love! She was such a calming and positive support to both my husband and me. We quickly requested her as our night nurse and our request was granted. She would be the only one caring for the twins from 7pm to 7am! She was my total ally and ultimate support.
It was Nurse Kelly Gee that I turned to when I didn’t understand the doctor jargon. She was the understanding shoulder to cry and lean on when I was overwhelmed with emotion. She was the one to help hug, embrace and hold our babies, even while my husband and I were ordered to get some rest. She was the one that told me I had to go on one last date with my husband before the boys came home and she is the one that made my NICU experience less scary. She was literally our lifesaver during one of the toughest times in our lives.”
“To all the NICU nurses and my beloved Nurse Kelly Gee, you will never know the amount of gratitude and love myself and my whole family have for you! Seeing your baby hooked up to machines and incubators really is overwhelming and can be terrifying for parents. This special group of nurses, through their compassion and kindness, really eases your mind and makes you truly believe everything will turn out great! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart…thank you for doing what you do, and caring and loving on my babies and all babies in need!”
For decades, Huggies has believed in the power of hugs to help babies thrive. Huggies is inspired by the amazing benefits hugs have on babies – it’s why every diaper is inspired by hugs. According to a recent Huggies study titled “The Power of Human Touch for Babies“ skin-to-skin hugs can do more than calm a cry or soothe stress. Hugs can help keep a baby’s heart beating at a normal rate, improve sleep and support healthy weight gain.
No Baby Unhugged is Huggies vision to ensure all babies get the hugs they need. Beyond Huggies products, they’re also committed to ensuring that no baby goes unhugged, and this conviction drives everything they do. As part of this effort, Huggies is awarding $10,000 grants to eligible hospitals to enable them to launch a new volunteer hugging program or expand support for an existing program. You can get involved by giving back to help families during their time of need when their children are in NICU. Help give more hugs when you become a Huggies member. Sign up by visiting Huggies.com/NoBabyUnhugged and Huggies will donate $5 to No Baby Unhugged grants.
Huggies – the fastest growing diaper brand in U.S. hospitals – believes deeply in the Power of Hugs, which is why every diaper and wipe is inspired by a parent’s embrace. The Huggies No Baby Unhugged program helps ensure all babies get the hugs they need to thrive by supporting hugging programs in hospitals and donating diapers across the country. Learn how you can help at Huggies.com/NoBabyUnhugged. #HuggiesCouncil #ad
Joscelyn, Owner of Mami of Multiples & Mami Innovative Media
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